A large crowd assembled at Leku Ona Feb. 8 to take part in Think and Drink, an event hosted at three venues by Boise State University professors on topics commemorating Boise's sesquicentennial, Boise 150.
The formula was simple: The audience was asked to both think and order a drink, with many opting for the Basque staple kalimotxos.
Each event began at 6 p.m. Dr. Lisa Brady led a lecture at Berryhill and Co., and Dr. Kent Neupert lead a talk at Payette Brewing Company in Garden City. But according to Boise City Department of Arts and History Commissioner Jody Ochoa, the crowd at Leku Ona was the largest.
Dozens sat in a basement meeting room while professors Dr. John Bieter and Dr. David Lachiondo, both with strong ties to BSU's Basque Studies program, invited the audience to consider why they choose to live in Boise.
Both Lachiondo and Bieter offered their perspectives on why they think Boise is special, and the crowd provided their views.
One man felt Boise schools could use some improvement.
"When you finish where we are in education, if you're a publicly traded company, you're not coming here," he said.
That spurred more conversation, with the audience applauding each person who stood up and told a story or sparked a discussion. Some mentioned the upcoming Davis Cup, tourism, education, wages and the history of the city. But while plenty talked about the positive aspects of Boise, others brought up some of its problems.
"We really did tear down some gems, didn't we?" said Lachiondo, gesturing to a photo of the original Boise City Hall projected on a wall.
"I hope we do for our air what I think we did for our river," said Bieter. "This river is cleaner now than when I was growing up, but I didn't know the word inversion growing up, that wasn't a part of my vocabulary."